Crown Takes 'Triangle' and Literary Debut
Dan Lazar at Writers House sold U.S., Canadian, and open market rights to Michelle Moran's Empress Josephine's Crown. Heather Lazare at Crown bought the book, which is a follow-up to the author's forthcoming Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution, which Crown is publishing in February. The new book follows three of the women who circled, and were all vying for the attention of, Napoleon: Hortense Beauharnais, his wife's daughter; his sister, Pauline Bonaparte; and Marie Antoinette's great niece, Maria Lucia.

In a separate deal, Crown's Lindsay Sagnette made a six-figure pre-empt for North American rights to a debut novel by Columbia M.F.A. Jay Kang. Sterling Lord's Jim Rutman sold The Dead Do Not Improve, which the publisher is comparing to works by Junot Díaz and Gary Shteyngart. The novel follows a frustrated young writer with an M.F.A. who becomes the focus of a "violent scheme," per the publisher, after his neighbor is murdered. Crown said the book follows the protagonist as he wanders through "a suddenly menacing, unknowable San Francisco, fending off militant surfers, overpopulated quinoa cafes, and aggressive advanced creative writing students." The book is currently scheduled for 2012.

Delacorte Enjoys Indian Summer with McDaniel
Lurlene McDaniel, who has written more than 70 YA novels, signed a two-book deal with her longtime editor, Beverly Horowitz, at Delacorte Books for Young Readers. The lead title in the deal is a novel about three friends during the summer before they leave for college. Horowitz, who is known for her inspirational bent, will chronicle the 18-year-old girlfriends and the trials and tribulations they face in their family and romantic lives, in The Year of Luminous Love. Meg Ruley at the Jane Rotrosen Agency brokered the deal, which is for North American rights.

Threshold Nabs Borelli's 'Backlash'
In a six-figure acquisition, Anthony Ziccardi and Mitchell Ivers at Threshold Editions took world rights to Deneen Borelli's first book, The Obama Backlash: How the Left Is Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Borelli is a black Tea Party activist—she is a fellow at Project 21, a public policy group inside the Beltway that brings together black conservatives—who has publicly tussled with leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, as well as groups like the NAACP. Agent Maura Teitelbaum sold the book.

SMP Gets Politico's Book and Kathie Lee's ‘Gifts'
In two deals this week, St. Martin's Press acquired a book by Florida Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, as well as an illustrated book by Kathie Lee Gifford. Kathy Huck bought world rights to Shultz's currently untitled book from agent Joelle Delbourgo. Schultz, a longtime Florida politician who was named vice-chairwoman of the DNC by President Obama in 2009, is writing with New York Times journalist Julie Fenster and will, the publisher said, cover a number of topics from education to the environment, but will ultimately "lay out an urgent challenge to our nation so we can secure our children's future."

In the Gifford deal, BJ Berti took world rights to Three Gifts from Mel Berger at William Morris Endeavor. The book, a Christmas poem about the birth of Jesus, will be illustrated by Michael Storrings, and Gifford is donating proceeds from the title to Childhelp. Three Gifts is scheduled for October 2011.

Maya Ziv at Harper Perennial bought U.S. rights to Louise Doughty's Whatever You Love, which was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award. Grainne Fox at Fletcher & Company brokered the deal, with Antony Harwood and James Macdonald at Antony Harwood Ltd. According to Ziv and Fox, the book is "a hauntingly beautiful investigation of love, loss, and revenge."